Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bret Michaels at Timber Creek Inn, Sandwich, IL

Post # 185
On December 30th, 2011, Brett Michaels made an irregular stop on his 'Roses and Thorns' tour... at Sandwich, IL! My brother had an extra ticket and invited me to join him for this event. This was a special occasion for me, because this is actually my home town. Getting to see a big-name performer like this in Sandwich was something I never thought possible, back when I became a fan of Poison in the late 80's. However, a new promoter in the area has been working hard to bring some major entertainment further west of the Chicago suburbs, for just such occasions as this.

This was to be a 2-part event as well. The first half of the show featured local area karaoke contest-winners singing covers, with the 'winner' getting a chance to sing a duet w/ Bret during his set! The first of these contestants was a lady named Desiree, who sang 'Every Rose Has its Thorn'. She really looked the part for an 80's metal band too: black leather vest and bandanna over her hair. Vocally, she nailed this song, doing justice to the original!

The second contestant was a guy named Dave. He looked more like your regular Joe. Jeans, t-shirt, and baseball cap. He could have been anybody from a local farmer, to a trucker, to a college frat-boy, but then the band started playing his song-of-choice: 'Dead or Alive' (Bon Jovi). I know I said that Desiree gave a great performance, but Dave was spot-on too! Looked to me like the local karaoke scene was holding their own, and making the concept of sharing the stage with one of Hair-metal's greatest front-men not so far-fetched after all!

The 3rd contestant must have been out of sorts, or under the weather, for they skipped them. In their place, and to fill up set time, they invited audience members to participate. Here's where the show came down to Earth a bit. Two ladies all the way from Utah came up for a duet next. Andrea and Kendra did two numbers, 'Unskinny Bop' and 'Talk Dirty to Me'. They made the most of their moment in the spotlight, trading vocal parts, but they were not on the same level as the first two performers.

Then we had an intermission. The stage hands moved some equipment on and off of the stage and prepared for Bret Michaels. The PA played numerous hits from the 80's pop-metal era as we waited in anticipation...

Bret came out about 25 minutes later, gave us a warm welcome, and got things rolling right away with his authentic rendition of 'Talk Dirty to Me'! He gave a great performance, rolling out all the big hits form his band Poison's heyday, and playing a few tracks from his new solo-album Custom Built. Some of these included covers of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Sweet Home Alabama', and Sublime's 'What I Got'. He even performed the theme song from his reality TV show Rock Of Love, 'Go That Far'.

True to his word, during the final number, 'Nothin' But a Good Time', Dave, from the karaoke contest, got to come up on the stage and sing some vocals along with Bret on the final jam of the evening. After the show they even auctioned off the guitar Bret played during 'Fallen Angel' for charity. A very classy gesture!

I had a hell of a time, reliving my youth on this night of 80's hair metal mayhem! And, since it was right in my home town, I also got to see a few familiar faces from my school days. It was almost like a class-reunion, with the added benefit of having Bret Michaels play a rock concert at the same time! Definitely not something that happens every day in Sandwich, IL of all places!

Songs featured in the Karaoke segment:
Every Rose Has Its Thorn (sung by Desiree)
Dead or Alive (Bon Jovi cover, sung by Dave)
Unskinny Bop and Talk Dirty to Me (sung by Andrea and Kendra as duet)

Bret's Set:
-Talk Dirty to Me
-Look What the Cat Dragged In
-Sweet Home Alabama
-Go That Far (Theme from Rock of Love)
-Something to Believe In
-Unskinny Bop
-Your Mama Don't Dance
-What I Got (Sublime cover)
-Every Rose Has Its Thorn
-Fallen Angel
-Nothin' But a Good Time

For his new CD, and more info, check out Bret Michaels' website:

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